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Posted on 10th December 2018

Patients Lungs Washed Out With Cleaning Fluid By Accident

A 68-year-old man was admitted to Salford Royal Hospital after suffering severe injuries in a road accident. The patient suffered from a brain injury and multiple fractures after being hit by a car.

During his treatment in hospital, the patient contracted a lung infection. To help remove the infection, medics carried out an emergency procedure to clear the patient’s lungs and to help improve his breathing.

For the procedure, the trolley container with the bronchoscopy equipment was not fully stocked. After a request from a doctor, a nurse fetched some saline. The saline is put in the lungs as fluid before it is removed during the procedure. However, due to an error in communication, the nurse handed over a cleaning detergent to the doctor, which is used to clean equipment.

Due to the error, the detergent was then put in the patient’s lungs and used to wash the lungs out. After the mistake was realised, medics conducted a second thorough cleaning of the lung. After the procedure, the patient’s condition continued to worsen. He had symptoms of sepsis and cardiovascular collapse. Sadly, the patient died a few days later.

After his death and investigation was launched which saw multiple errors come to light, including;

  • No labelling of the bottle of cleaning fluid
  • Lack of COSHH risk assessments
  • Unprepared trolley for the procedure
  • The distraction of life-critical tasks
  • Lack of communication
  • Inadequate training.

At the moment, it is unclear whether the mistake during the procedure directly led to the man’s death. Understandably, his family are angry at the way the patient was let down and have instructed medical negligence solicitors to investigate the matter.

What Negligence Claimline Say

When a patient dies in the care of medical experts, it is understandably upsetting for loved ones. However, to then find out there were shocking mistakes in their care can be harder to deal with. In times like these, it is essential for family members to get answers to what happened and how it can be prevented.

Negligence Claimline has a team of expert solicitors who are there to help patients and family members receive the answers they deserve. If you believe the standard of care was not at what you expect, then you may have grounds for medical negligence compensation. To find out if you have a claim, fill in our free claims assessment form for friendly, no-obligation advice.